A boating trip is an excellent nature getaway, whether you’re going with friends or family. However, as with any adventure, there are risks involved. Knowing proper boating rules isn’t only important for you and your boat, but also for the people on board and others in the area. There are many different tips to help you avoid common mistakes that many people make when boating. By knowing these simple tips, you’ll be able to have a safe and fun day on the water.
- Take A Boat Safety Course
Boat pilots with any level of experience can benefit from taking a boating safety course. In fact, the more, the better! If you work better in interactive courses that you can fit into a busy schedule, consider checking out reputable sites such as ilearntoboat and their various course offerings.
- Wear A Life Jacket
Regardless of how confident a swimmer you are, a life jacket is an essential piece of equipment for any boating trip. You need at least one life jacket per passenger, and must be worn before the trip begins. Individuals under 16 and those with limited swimming abilities should always wear life jackets when onboard.
- Have A Boating Safety Kit
One of the essential steps for owning a boat involves having the right equipment. This equipment goes beyond simple life jackets and includes tools for maintenance, as well as supplies in case of stranding and methods to allow you to contact help in case of emergency. Having a first aid kit can be very useful to have as it can help to quickly treat minor injuries while you’re out on the water.
Here are some of the other basics you’ll need in preparation for any boating trip, no matter how short it may be:
- At least one personal floatation device per passenger
- A fully stocked first aid kit
- Warm clothing
- A horn, bell, or whistle for signaling
- Fire extinguisher
- A radio or some form of reliable mobile communication
- Extra supplies, such as water and food
- Avoid Boating in Inclement Weather
Another common mistake that most people make is not checking the weather before they set out to the lake or stream. It’s important to remember that a bad storm can cause dangerous conditions if you’re not prepared for them, and it’s usually best to simply wait until the storm has passed.
- Avoid Crowds
Just like the parking lot is the place where most car accidents happen, marinas can be dangerous places for boaters. This is due partly to boating traffic, and partly dependent on how the setup of the marina facilitates safe passage. The same goes for out on the water. The more boats you have in the area, the more potential there is for sinkage, injury, or accidents, as has been seen in a number of recent boat rallies. While you may feel confident enough in your boating abilities to avoid direct crashes in areas with lots of boat traffic, water swells can change quickly and can potentially swamp smaller boats.
- Avoid Alcohol
Remember that you never should try to drink too much, whether it’s alcohol or another kind of mood-altering beverage. Alcohol is a depressant, especially if you’re tired or not in the best mood for boating. It can also get you sick or dehydrated while boating, which can also increase your risk of ending up in a dangerous situation.
- Have A Float Plan
Whenever you go out on the water, make sure someone back on land knows where you are, where you’re going, and for how long you’ll be gone. They should also know how to contact you, as well as what authorities to contact if you go missing. This provides a backup plan to ensure you get help if you encounter an emergency situation or get stranded out on the water.
- Be Prepared
It’s also important to realize that there may be times when it’s not possible to avoid being in a dangerous situation. Even if you’re traveling at a safe speed and using lights at night, it may not be possible for some boaters to see you clearly, thus, you could end up getting hit or injured.
Always try to remember that there are a lot of things that can happen when you’re out on the water, so you should be prepared and have a plan in place to deal with any dangerous situation. This includes making sure that you and your children know how to handle themselves in certain dangerous situations.
Stay Alert, Stay Safe!
There are plenty of rewards to boating, but there are many risks as well. Knowing how to prepare for a boating trip and ensure boating safety can save time and a lot of worry, not to mention your life! Always remember that boating is a fun adventure, but always have a plan and a way to handle any situation that may arise.